About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
I am a native of Illinois and grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. After dropping out of college, I moved to California in 1973 with my first husband. I married my present husband, Butch, in 1977 and got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me a grandmother 25 times over and a great-grandmother of 19. Three years after I married Butch I returned to school. I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication and was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 to return to school and get my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore and genealogy - and add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play a number of folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega with Genealogy Journeys where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that can be found at http://genaandjean.blogspot.com and more about my own business projects is on my Circlemending website.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday Singalong with Circlemending - Beginnings

I am well aware that we are over a week into the new year . . . I am almost used to writing 2011 on things. However, it still feels as if the year has just begun. Beginnings are part of all aspects of life. We begin new adventures - classes, jobs, hobbies, trips, etc. And our lives also include less public beginnings - embracing new philosophies, starting a new book (writing or reading), diets, etc. Then there are the beginnings that we don't realize have been part of our lives until we've passed the beginning stage (I once mounted a few pictures in a creative way and before I knew it, I was a scrapbooker!).

So, how about a song about beginnings (starting something, the initiation of an activity, etc.). Use your imagination. It can be an older song, but it can also be something more contemporary.

How about the beginning of the end? I love Bob Gibson and Dave North's song "Let the Band Play Dixie." It talks about the new beginning the US experienced when the Civil War came to an end. President Lincoln devised an ingenious way of starting the mending process and it is immortalized in this song. Here is a YouTube recording of Bob Gibson (1931-1996) singing this song that was written for the play The Courtship of Carl Sandburg. Check it out!

Your turn - a song about a beginning of something, etc. Just the title is enough, but a link to lyrics or MP3 or YouTube also works. Let's start the year with lots of music!


  1. What a wonderful Idea Jean, I to can not believe that a year has gone by already, My song is "The Promise" by The Martins, a Christian group, but every time I hear it or sing it , it is my thought of a New beginnig,The lyrics to it can be found on Amazon.com/gaithershomecoming/click on The Martins/The Promise

    Gods Love to you for doing this


  2. How about "I'm leavin' on a jet plane" written by John Denver and most famously sung by Peter Paul & Mary. -- that was sure a new beginning.
    Say, I notice that you grew up a stone's throw from me. I'm in Evanston. I like tying in music with genealogy. I may have mentioned in a previous post that my grandparents knew hundreds of songs - and my grandpa wrote down scores of them in 100 year old notebook I have -- and published a page of on my blog. Song was part of life back then.